Meet KIPP Indy: Barato Britt

Barato Britt is the Executive Director of the Leadership and Legacy Academy at the Edna Martin Christian Center (EMCC), a 75-year-old institution that provides wrap-around services for over 3,000 low-income families, primarily in the Martindale-Brightwood community where KIPP Indy is located. In addition to his work with EMCC, Barato sits on the KIPP Indy Board of Directors and has been a key partner and advocate for our schools for many years. Barato first got involved with KIPP Indy through his work with EMCC. “As a longtime advocate for school choice I was familiar with KIPP, but after meeting Ms. Pelino (KIPP Indy’s Executive Director) I knew the school was on a positive trajectory.” That, along with his deep belief in the mission and vision of our schools, is why he joined our Board. Barato says KIPP Indy is unique in the community because of our approach, diversity, and commitment to creating a college going culture for all of our students. He goes on to talk about KIPP Indy’s commitment to the Martindale-Brightwood community. “The school is open and transparent, and clearly is committed to contributing consciously and positively to the overall community fabric.” Barato is excited to see KIPP Indy establish a relationship with Indianapolis Public Schools and what that means for educational outcomes for students. He believes that greater collaboration between traditional public and public charter schools demonstrates that all community stakeholders can work together for the sake of kids. “I am gratified that KIPP Indy has embraced, with responsibility, working in partnership with IPS. What is unquestionably true is that many of our students in most need...

KIPP Indy’s Partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools

In 2014, Indiana passed groundbreaking legislation that established Innovation Network Schools. Innovation Network Schools combine the freedom and flexibility of autonomous schools with access to services and financial support from a large district. At KIPP Indy, our elementary and middle school were both selected to become some of the first Innovation Network Schools to partner with Indianapolis Public Schools. Through this partnership, IPS supports KIPP Indy with the opportunity to lease a facility and the access to essential, cost-effective services such as transportation and building maintenance. This is imperative to our work because, as a public charter school, we receive fewer public tax dollars than district schools. Dr. Ferebee, the Superintendent of IPS, highlighted the importance of this partnership for our students, saying, “Our partnership with KIPP Indy is a great example of the power of the innovation model. We strive to provide KIPP with cost-effective transportation and facilities so that they can direct more dollars to teaching and learning.” With this support from the district, we are able to ensure that more of our funding goes directly into the classroom to provide the best educational resources for our students. However, the partnership between KIPP Indy and IPS is about more than just a school building and transportation. Innovation Network Schools provide a unique opportunity for all public schools, both charter and district, to improve educational outcomes for students in schools across the city. Emily Pelino, the Executive Director of KIPP Indy, said, “Families want the best educational opportunities for their students, regardless of what type of school they attend.” The president of the IPS school board, Mary Ann...